Sunday, 29 March 2020

Honestly, calm down.

You find out who your friends are in a crisis, an aphorism which has been tested and found true over this last week. Yes, it’s just a week in lockdown and already the usual malcontents are making a nuisance of themselves. If it was only themselves they were harming by their refusal to listen to the news rather than our partisan media’s interpretation of the news then it wouldn’t be so bad. But many people rather sweetly lap up every morsel of fear they are fed.

It is noticeable that it is the same old gang of malcontents who are determined to wreck everything. The people religiously opposed to Brexit, fervently in support of open borders, actively duped by climate propaganda and imagining themselves to be ‘the good guys’ are up to their old tricks. No government policy goes unchallenged – a sage stance, you might imagine – but this is nothing to do with wisdom. These people openly spread lies, aided and abetted by certain news outlets who believe it is their place to make the news, rather than just report it.

My social medium of choice is Twitter, mostly because I can’t really work all the others and really can’t be arsed trying to be relevant in more than one place. And my blog is more by way of escape from all the screeching; for screeching there is. The usual suspects: Carole Cadwalladr, Piers Morgan, Zoe Williams, Marina Hyde, Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar [the list goes on and on] are busily wreaking social havoc out there. And they have a ready-made audience. Some are gleefully predicting the downfall of capitalism; others are just making hay in the somewhat ironic sunshine we are experiencing right now.

But reality is more prosaic. For every self-referential poll they put up to demonstrate how people who think as they do want more of what they want, the public-at-large have a dozen ‘fuck-offs’ ready in reply. For every urban anarchist call to arms, several thousand ordinary people cock a deaf ear. For every absurd insistence that the government is taking us toward a police state, a million citizens see only sensible precautions and condemn those who flout them.

Playing politics with sensitive issues has long been seen by the general public as sordid at best and at worst downright despicable, sinister, even. More and more people must surely be coming round to this view as every utterance by the forces of opposition – official and self-appointed – is seen as the partisan propagandising it really is. But I have optimism that there is opposition to this opposition and it is seated in the British spirit so hated by the Leftwaffe.

None of the numerical ‘facts’ that are broadcast by either side are untainted by bias and all of them are projections based on imperfect data. Even after all the dead are counted there will be uncertainty. But one thing is certain and that is that, so far, the numbers of dead pale into insignificance compared to the regular seasonal numbers, even if you ascribe every ‘excess’ death directly to coronavirus Covid-19. It might be different had the government not acted as it did, but we will never know. So put aside unverifiable facts and ask yourself a few simple questions:

Can you – seriously – imagine that a British government would deliberately pursue the worst possible policy to control the virus? Do you – seriously – think the Tories are intent on decimating the population; and if so, why, to what possible end? Do you imagine for one second that a nexus of Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell would not be using this temporary crisis as a device to usher in Marxist socialism, the transition to full communism? Your response to these questions may well indicate whether you are part of the solution or part of the problem. 

So just… calm down. Do as you’re told, take all the help available and ask for more if you need it, and trust in the British national character to see us through. Take a few calming breaths and accept what you cannot change. Use this lockdown time to give your psyche a thorough audit, paying particular attention to your ability to sift out the truth from the conspiracy theories. And when it is all over – a few weeks, probably – ask yourself what you, personally, can do to prepare for the next lockdown when it comes. Because, as sure as eggs is eggs, this won’t be the last time.


  1. Welcome back Batsby I was beginning to think the virus had got you :-) Your right it would be political suicide for the Conservatives not to do all they can for older people. Most of their members are older people as are many of their activists and donors. I would like to know just how many people have simply died with the virus as opposed to those who died of the virus, but that wouldn't be such a headline grabber so no doubt we will never see that. Regarding social media I never expose myself to endless stream of crap on it. I find it better to read blogs like this one and a few others, it's easier to stay sane and avoid the IQ zeros that way.

    1. I suspect that the number of excess deaths recorded this winter will be unremarkable in comparison to previous years and I doubt we will ever see any sane analysis. Every set of figures will be twisted to tell whatever tale the twisters want to tell.
      But the sheer capacity to believe bullshit means that no matter how warped, the most ridiculous of theories will be believed.